Also In Global Health News: East Africa Food Security; Issues With Humanitarian Aid; Texting To Fight Counterfeit Drugs

Experts To Discuss Food Security In East Africa

The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) meeting  this week in Kigali, Rwanda “will provide a forum for experts, government ministers, regional economic communities and other stakeholders to discuss how best to handle the food security issue in” East Africa, New Times/ reports. The U.N. Economic Commission for Africa’s Sub-Regional Office, East Africa (SRO-EA) will host the meeting. “East Africa is the sub-region most affected by food insecurity,” according to an SRO-EA report, New Times/ writes (3/13).

TIME Examines Problems With Humanitarian Aid

TIME examines some of the issues that can arise with humanitarian aid distributed during a conflict. The article looks at recent reports about aid that aimed to combat the famine in Ethiopia during the 1980s. “The real story behind Ethiopia’s famine exemplifies many of the problems with aid. In the West, the famine of the 1980s was seen as a great natural disaster. Band Aid was so successful – it raised tens of millions of dollars – because it played on Westerners’ sense of obligation to ‘save Africa’ and their sense of guilt for somehow ‘allowing’ the famine to happen. But the reality was far more complex. … It’s not just happening in Ethiopia either” (Wadhams, 3/13).

Wall Street Journal Examines Company’s Effort To Use Text Messaging To Curb Counterfeit Drugs In Nigeria

The Wall Street Journal examines Sproxil Inc., “a start-up founded by a Ghana-born Ph.D. student at Dartmouth,” which aims to “help companies and consumers [in Nigeria] detect fake pharmaceuticals.” According to the newspaper, “[t]he company has developed technology that allows customers to use their mobile phones to check on newly purchased drugs. Using scratch-off labels and ID numbers, customers can send a code via text message to a database in the U.S. to check whether the medicine they purchased is authentic.” Sproxil was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from USAID and Western Union and is supported my some shareholders in Nigeria (Connors, 3/12).